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Original Project CARS creator trying to re-hire EA team

Original Project CARS creator trying to re-hire EA team

Ian Bell, the founder of Slightly Mad Studios, is aiming to hire former Project CARS employees to work on his upcoming GTR Revival project.

It’s been a tricky week for fans of simulation-based driving titles. Whether you were, or were not, a fan, there’s little doubt that the first two Project CARS games brought a sim-focussed title to the masses.

Yesterday, 8th November 2022, the current owners of the franchise and Slightly Mad Studios development team, Electronic Arts, put the kibosh on a fourth title which was in development.

Since then, the original studio and project lead, Ian Bell, has taken to Twitter to explain his anguish at the decision and claim of wanting to hire team members to work on his new GTR Revival project.

Ian Bell, Project CARS, EA Electronic Arts

“EA, keeping on being awesome… I said my bit and I stand by every word as they continue to prove them,” said Bell.

“How are those numbers (sorry I mean people, with hopes, dreams and families) looking, at the bottom of those the spreadsheets?”

Bell worked on the series from the beginning, selling SMS to Codemasters in November 2019. From there, he was a board member, which in turn was purchased by EA in 2021. He then departed the company last October and was believed to be under a non-compete clause.

In September of this year, Bell then announced he was spearheading a new team to work on a new sim racing project – GTR Revival.

Ian Bell, GTR Revival, Revolution, Project CARS

“So that’s about 18 hours and counting calling all of the old pCARS2 team,” tweeted Bell, yesterday.

“Many of the GTR2 guys are already with us and most of the pCARS2 superstars want to join. GTR Revolution is going full hardcore in every possible way we can think of. It’s already building. Input welcomed.”

It does beg the question, however – is the new platform called GTR Revival, or GTR Revolution?

EA, on the other hand, stated:

“We are working with everyone impacted by this decision to place them into suitable roles across our EA Sports and racing portfolio, as well as other parts of EA, wherever we can.”

The team had reportedly been working on Project CARS 4 since the launch of the maligned Project CARS 3 in August 2020. It now seems as if they will be hunting for new roles, either within EA, with Bell’s new Mildly Annoyed Studios (MASS) or elsewhere.

Ben Collins and Jay Morton, Praga Cup 2022, Donington Park
Ben Collins (left) is now working on GTR Revival

One person who previously worked on SMS’ project, and was even within Fast & Furious Crossroads was former Stig Ben Collins, who Bell claims is now involved with GTR Revival as ‘Chief Handling Consultant’.

Collins has a long career in motorsport, competing this season in the Praga Cup with Jay Morton against the likes of Jimmy Broadbent and Gordie Mutch – the duo claiming three podium finishes.

Images: Jakob Ebrey via Praga

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